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Innovative policy Mexico: Mexico Strategy for the inclusion of small and medium-sized avocado producers in dynamic markets

Michoacan is, by far, the principal Mexican and world producer of avocado. At present, 75 per cent of production is destined for the local market, with the rest being exported to the world market, mainly the United States (US). Mexico is also the world's biggest consumer of avocados. Small producers are responsible for most avocado production in the State of Michoacan.

In spite of a growth of 23,000 hectares of cultivated areas between 1970 and 1975, profits remained low and had limited prospects of improving, due to the fact that markets were not paying a competitive price to producers because of low quality standards and phytosanitary restrictions. This situation had a negative impact on the outlook and economic welfare of producers, who were affected by a severe crisis in market prices, receiving USD 0.10 cents per kilo while production costs stood at USD 0.40 cents.

The crisis in profitability persisted until the 1990s, which led to some leading producers collaborating with the sole aim of implementing phytosanitary controls in order to access local and national markets by improving quality standards. Producers also knew that by not fulfilling such phytosanitary requirements, the export market would remain closed to them, along with its potential to unshackle national prices, even though the North American market had effectively closed its frontiers to Mexican avocado imports since 1912.

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